Unbelievably, we are now into the home straight of the Premier League season and Liverpool are within touching  distance of picking up the Premier League Title for the very first time. Until they beat City last weekend I’m not sure I was taking their charge 100% seriously, but now they are odds on favourites with only 4 games to go I guess I may be eating my words, unless..

EPL Predictions 19 - 21 April 2014

Well this is the Premier League after all. Let’s move on to this weeks team news.

Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham– Saturday 19 April 2014 – 1245Ko

Spurs are having a big impact on the relegation race, they looked like they were rolling over and having their tummies tickled at The Hawthorns last week, but managed to somehow pull a draw out of the hat, whilst Fulham are on a charge and a win in the early fixture will see the club climb out of the relegation zone, a feat which seemed improbable only two weeks ago.  However, Fulham don’t travel well and will really have their work cut out.

Premier League Injuries: Moussa Dembele is primed to start after overcoming injury for Spurs but they are without Dawson, Walker, Soldado, Lamela and Capoue. Lewis Holtby is ineligible for Fulham so will miss out as does record signing Mitroglou
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-0
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Christian Eriksen

Aston Villa v Southampton – Saturday 19 April 2014 – 1500KO

If Fulham are battling with all they have to get out of their predicament, Villa are doing the opposite and sit only 4 points above the drop zone and appear to be a club in real trouble both on and off the pitch. News this week is that two of Paul Lambert’s backroom team have been suspended, and the season can’t end soon enough for them. The Saints look like another team who would be happy to call a day on the season now. They look destined for 8th place, and I’m pretty sure a few of their squad will now be taking it easy with an eye on not risking anything before the World Cup.

Premier League Injury News: Bacuna will come back into the Villa side at left back after missing last weekend’s defeat. The Villa long term injury list is large though with N’Zogbia, Kozak, Gardner and Benteke all missing.  Boruc returns in goal for The Saints who are still without Gaston Ramirez who has an ankle complaint.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Brad Guzan

Cardiff City v Stoke City – Saturday 19 April 2014 – 1500KO

I think most people will find the news that Cardiff have written to the league complaining that Crystal Palace found out their team news prior to kick-off a little embarrassing, however it could be a little bit of a release for the players, and they are another side who are within a win of climbing out of the relegation zone. But they face a tricky tie against a Stoke side who are in top form as they go chasing an unlikely 9th placed finish.

Premier League Team News: Kenwyne Jones returns from a damaged kidney to face one of his former sides. Noone is out for the season though. Charlie Adam is expected to be available for the visitors despite having a operation on a broken nose in midweek.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: David Marshall

Newcastle United v Swansea – Saturday 19 April 2014 – 1500KO

For Newcastle their season finished the moment they sold their best player in Cabaye, and now really seem to just be going through the motions, although the relegation battlers in the league will be praying they turn up for a fixture which could really impact they tail of the table. Two weeks ago Swansea looked like they were going to push themselves out of trouble after demolishing Norwich, but a disappointing defeat to Hull last week and training ground scuffles mean they are very much still in danger.

Premier League Injury News: The Magpies are starting to get a few of their injured players back into action with both Remy and Debuchy expected to return after missing 6 fixtures.  Flores is suspended for The Swans following his early bath for 2 yellow cards last week against Chelsea. Michu is doubtful with an ankle problem.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-0
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Papiss Cisse

West Ham United v Crystal Palace – Saturday 19 April 2014 – 1500KO

It will be a sombre occasion in East London as The Hammers mourn the tragic loss of 20 year old striker Dylan Tombides who lost his life to testicular cancer this week. After being struck down at the age of 17 he managed to get himself back to fitness and make a first team appearance. He has also done sterling work making us become more aware about male health. So guys, go check yourself now.

With both these sides safe the fixture could be a little lacklustre as on paper these sides look like they could cancel each other out.

Premier League Team News: Nolan is back for the home side after missing Tuesdays defeat against Arsenal, whilst Collins and O’Brien have also overcome injuries. Mariappa will start for Palace despite a broken nose, and Chamakh, Ward and Bolasie could all feature.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Andy Carroll

Chelsea v Sunderland – Saturday 19 April 2014 – 1730Ko

A game with huge implications at both ends of the table, I still have a sneaky feeling that Chelsea will somehow manage to win the league, but Sunderland showed in midweek they are not going down without a fight. However could Vito Mannone’s last gasp howler which cost them 3 points at The Etihad could come back to haunt them.

Premier League Injury News: Hazard is still sidelined for a Chelsea side which could be rotated ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League Semi Final.  Bardsley is suspended for The Black Cats who are also without Liam Bridcutt.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 3-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Oscar

Norwich v Liverpool–Sunday 20 April 2014 – 1200KO

A good way to kick off an Easter Sunday football feast. Liverpool are on an amazing run at present and I think the law of averages says they have got come unstuck at some point and Norwich will be hoping today is that day. We have seen what the pressure and expectations did to Everton in midweek and I think their Anfield neighbours could suffer a similar fate especially against a side as desperate for points as Norwich.

Norwich were much improved last weekend against Fulham, but their shyness is-front of goal could be their downfall.

Premier League Injuries: Joseph Yobo is a doubt for the East Anglian side, but fellow defender Bassong should return after being dropped last weekend. Danny Sturridge has a hamstring problem and is not expected to be risked by Brendan Rodgers and key midfielder Jordan Henderson is now out for 3 games following his sending off.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: John Ruddy

Hull City v Arsenal– Sunday 20 April 2014 – 1405Ko

Lazy people who write about football will not be able to get past this fixture without writing the cliché ‘Dress rehearsal’ about these sides facing each other in a Wembley cup final next month, but I’m not one of those types!

Arsenal certainly proved they can win ugly and graft for a result when they won against West Ham on Tuesday night, and they will need a similar performance against a dogged Hull side. Who with two ex-Spurs players in Livermore and Huddlestone controlling the midfield, will be hoping to dent The Gunners quest for 4th place.

Premier League Team News: Long and Jelavic return to The Tigers side after being cup-tied last weekend in place of Boyd and Sagbo, whilst Alex Bruce may also win a starting place.  Arsenals midfield unavailability is now improving with Ozil fit again after a hamstring complaint and Flamini available again after suspension.  Gibbs is out though.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-2
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Oliver Giroud

Everton v Manchester United – Sunday 20 April 2014 – 1610Ko

Have Everton thrown away a place at Europe’s top table for next season after a disappointing midweek loss to Palace? They certainly looked nervous and didn’t play with their usual freedom.  They will be hoping not just to bounce back, but prove they are a better team than the one ex-manager David Moyes left.

United must win this if they want to sneak into Europe’s second competition.

Premier League Team News: Jagielka is still struggling to overcome a hamstring complaint, but may make the bench after being named in the squad. McCarthy is also fit to return. Rooney is fit to start after his recent toe injury but Van Perise, Evans and Rafael are all out.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-2
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Danny Welbeck

Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion – Monday 21 April 2014 – 2000Ko

We even have a fixture to finish off the Easter weekend, with City praying that lightning doesn’t strike twice at home within a week to relegation threatened struggler’s. Though we have to say they do look vulnerable everytime they are missing a few key players. I suspect they will manage to keep themselves in the title race (just!) against a West Brom side who seem to self-destruct despite putting themselves in good positions.

Premier League Team News: Toure is out for City along with David Silva.  Aguero and Negrado are expected to start up front.  Morrison and Olsson are missing for The Baggies.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-0
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: James Milner

There we have it, this weekends fixtures and an Easter Special to feast upon!!



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